With the book having been available for a while, I thought it only appropriate to now give you my first impressions, and to impress upon those who are fans of the horse & musket period (and the 18th century in particular), that this really is a tome worth investing in.
So, with my allegiance fully declared, here goes:
You know, there are those pieces of inspiration, whether they be books, artwork, films, in fact anything that stirs the hobby juices, that come along once in a while and really make an impact. This book is one of those. It's jam-packed with John's extra-ordinary and unique collection. It's got a style of presentation that is so professional and beautifully executed. The attendant artwork is superb, and the text itself is something of great interest and difference that it will hold attention throughout.
John's collection is simply stunning, and the combination of massed ranks of marching infantrymen interspersed with vignettes that capture the period so delightfully, is quite marvellous. In fact, it's that combination that really hits the sweet spot for me.
The collection itself is vast… with big battalions in that inimitable pose that John Ray has sculpted. And the vastness is matched by the consistently high quality of the paintwork, the simple and effective basing style, and the wonderful array of flags.
The extra-ordinary buildings (the large town scenes are breath-taking) have a believability that is often absent in model collections, and this can be said of the ships, wagons, coaches and other attendant paraphernalia… all of which has an authentic style that takes you right into John's miniature world.
The addition of Brian Rigelsford's charming pen and ink sketches throughout the book is a lovely touch and adds to the overall elegance of the work. Then there's some of Bob Marion's work too, and again the colour and style of the plates compliments the book beautifully.
The text itself is a story, which is a neat idea, and allows John to showcase the collection superbly. Many of the vignettes and individual figures were created purely for the story too.
This book isn't so much a wargaming book as it is a work of art. It's a reflection of John's passion for, and focus upon, a very specific period. The collector and connoisseur in you will love it…
see the link to John's blog on the right hand side of this page for more details…
Next time I'll give some more progress on my own collection.
Until then, that's all for now…